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Dawgs excel under Thiele’s guidance
• Cross country leader named top coach again
Katie Thiele 2
Ceres High cross country leader Katie Thiele has been named Ceres Courier’s Head Coach of the Year for the second straight season. - photo by Dale Butler

Katie Thiele has been named the Ceres Courier’s Head Coach of the Year for the fall sports season.

A repeat winner of the honor, Thiele led Ceres High’s boys and girls cross country teams to runner-up finishes in the Western Athletic Conference overall standings for the second year in a row.

The Bulldogs had eight runners earn all-league honors, including Ronaldo Flores, Fabian Amparo, Bryan Erenas, Jossue Portillo, Jacqueline Rodriguez, Karina Baez, Esmeralda Garcia and Diana Del Real.

Ceres High qualified nine individuals for the Sac-Joaquin Division-III Sub-Section Championships.

“We’ve been so successful because she’s tough on everyone,” said Rodriguez, a fourth-year runner with Ceres High’s girls team. “She’s always pushing us to our limits. She’s also very encouraging. It’s really refreshing to have a coach like that.”

“She’s a great coach,” said Flores, top runner on Ceres High’s boys team. “She’s very strict, but very positive. She’s never negative. She has the same high expectations for everyone. She wants all of us to do our best and try our hardest.”

"I’m so blessed to have such a great group of kids.”
Coach Katie Thiele

“I give most of the credit to the athletes,” said Thiele, fifth-year leader of the Bulldogs. “They’re the ones that put in the hard work. We didn’t lose anyone to grades. I’m so blessed to have such a great group of kids.” 

Ceres High’s girls squad was a model of consistency during the WAC campaign.

The Bulldogs posted a team score of 46 on their way to a second-place finish at the league finals on Oct. 30.

Ceres High also took second at the conference’s first three cluster meets.

The Bulldogs finished ahead of Mountain House (100 points), Johansen (111), Pacheco (120) and Grace Davis (134) in the overall standings.

Los Banos (24) won the league championship. The Tigers were undefeated versus league competition. 

Ceres High’s boys squad managed to place second in the WAC’s overall standings despite competing shorthanded.

Luis Yepez, the Bulldogs’ top returner, was lost for the year with a back injury prior to the start of the conference season.

Ceres High secured a runner-up finish after taking second at the league finals.

The Bulldogs took second at the WAC’s third cluster meet.

Ceres High was third at the conference’s first and second meets.

“My goal is to build dedicated runners so the future classes can see that,” Thiele said.